Leaders of Virginia state, USA, launched today a bipartisan state council to promote ties with Cuba and urge Congress to lift its blockade against the island.
The initiative, named State Council Virginia-Engage Cuba, is headed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and seeks to eliminate trade restrictions imposed on Cuba to open bilateral opportunities.
With this event, Virginia becomes the sixteenth state to join Engage Cuba, an organization based in this capital that is dedicated to promoting actions in the legislature to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade.
According to McAuliffe, he is honored to serve as honorary chairman of the newly announced council, an important step in efforts to lift restrictions and promote mutually beneficial trade between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Cuba.
He pointed out that his state enjoys an exceptionally positive economic relationship with Cuba, including having been the territory with the largest volume of agricultural exports to the island in 2015.
However, our businesses are hampered by more than 50 years of failed policies of economic and political isolation, he said.
According to the Democratic governor, it is time for the Congress to lift the financial, commercial and travel restrictions that impede the normal exchange of goods between the two nations and allow businesses to forge new alliances.